Women and AIDS prevention: assessing the options.

K. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women are biologically more susceptible to infection with HIV than men. More than five million women had been infected with HIV by 1993, and an estimated 13 million will have been infected by the year 2000. Women becoming infected with HIV in subSaharan Africa outnumber men 6 to 5 and the AIDS Support Organization in Uganda reports that there are almost six times as many infected young women as there are young men in the country. Many women are poor and uneducated, and depend upon men for their economic security. While a woman may have sex with only one man, the man may have several or many other sex partners. He therefore opens himself and his partners to the risk of HIV infection. Preliminary results from African studies suggest that more than 60% of infected women have only one sex partner. Culture is the greatest obstacle to preventing AIDS among women. Increasing the levels of awareness among women of the risk to which they may be subject, promoting communication and negotiation between men and women as well as between parents and children, encouraging women to help each other learn how to discuss sex and condom use with husbands, involving men as equal partners in safer sex planning, enabling women to obtain and use barrier methods when necessary without a man's consent, and improving the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases will all directly help prevent women from contracting HIV. Raising women's economic and social status will also help by giving women greater control over their lives and bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-29
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes


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